A senior Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) official allegedly approved of the selection of a Swiss firm by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to provide the timing, scoring and result (TSR) system. The OC selected Swiss Timing Limited for the TSR at a cost of R107 crore, for the sporting event held last October.
“The CGF official had mentioned that the tendering process followed by the OC in the TSR deal was as per the government procedures and advised that Swiss Timing Limited was regarded as one of the best as TSR providers,” said an OC source, who is not authorised to talk.
“Another bidder, a Spanish firm, had failed to fulfil the very first eligibility criteria, which had required the bidder to have the requisite experience to deliver TSR services as per the scope of work for the 17 enlisted disciplines and on a turnkey basis,” he added.
In this background, the CGF official had allegedly asked the OC as to by when would the TSR contract be finalised to kick-start the work, said the source.
“The CGF official had noted that the OC was already late and any further delay would jeopardise the Games, and instructed that the rationality of selecting M/s Swiss Timing be recorded. The OC in turn had informed him that the TSR contract will be finalised by December 31, 2009,” said the OC source.
On February 22 this year, the CBI had made its most high-profile arrests relating to the Commonwealth Games scam, nabbing former OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot and director general VK Verma.
Bhanot and Verma were arrested for cheating and criminal conspiracy for their alleged involvement in the irregularities over procurement of the TSR system from a Swiss company for R107 crore — more than twice the amount sought by the Spanish competitor, MSL.
The contract was given to Swiss Timing Limited by the OC officials, including Bhanot and Verma, on March 22, 2010 by allegedly overlooking the more reasonable bid of R48 crore made by Spanish company, MSL, according to a CBI source.